not a resource

January 25, 2011 § 6 Comments

1.  so this kinda weird thing happened.  i wrote this lil post about my experiences with a birthy magazine.  and really i just wrote it for me, so i could get over my creative block and get on with what i thought was really important.  and really i didnt think that anyone would really care about it.  cause im little. they are big.  that is just the way things are.

anyways a couple of birthy folks i know contacted me about it.  and one of them asked if she could post it to this doula forum.  and then there was a whole discussion about it.  but, i didnt write the post b/c i was trying to call the birthy mag out, i wrote it because one, it was the truth and two, i needed to blog it to move on.

what was weird that means that a bunch of people who i dont think normally read my work, and thus didnt understand the context of that post, responded in ways that were…off.  i mean this blog is 3 1/2 years old, its covered a good amount of ground.  and one of my intentions with this blog was that it was not going to focus on anti-racism.  (i was an anti racism consultant/trainer and got really burnt out and traumatized from the work…) i spend months not mentioning racism.  but still the posts that get the most coverage are the ones that center critical race theory.

i admit i am a little frustrated by this.  i am totally totally cool with people sharing my work.  i just get frustrated being pigeonholed or boxed in to ‘anti racism’ chick/resource.  i mean look at the categories bar (oh wait i dont think that shows on this blog theme) well, there isnt even a category for racism… i dont want to be a resource.  to quote ash ( who i think is quoting utah phillips) ‘you are a human resource.  do you know what happens to resources?  want to know?  look at mines, mountains demolished for coal, rivers that have been damned, the ocean the animals.”

i mean you can flip back a year ago and read how i dont identify as radical and how i posit woc as a term of privilege in relationship to the third world women in response to being told by radical women of color basically — your life doesnt count like ours does.  and that had more to do with us-centrism and the fact that i dont live in the us.

anyways, it was kinda weird.  a bit draining.  to see my approach to life decontextualized.

2. oh and to random birthy blog ladies who have their panties all in a tizzy because i told you, you dont save childbearing folk, they save themselves…

if you have time to write extensive critiques of me, then you have time to check your facts first, do some research, use the motherfucking google.  because it seems to me it would be a better use of your time to understand what and who you are talking about rather than straight up attacking me on spurious self-righteous charges.

srsly though.  this blog is written by a woman who a few months ago told me that i was such a great resource on anti-racism and imperialism when i made a comment on fb…so yeah…just to make a clear…

im not a fucking resource.

***inspired by something bfp said a few days ago…


§ 6 Responses to not a resource

  • Ash says:

    i think the impulse a lot of white folks have is to instead of building and engaging in real relationships (which means GIVE and take) with people to instead seek out a person who symbolizes to them what their movement is lacking. our racial memory is pretty much all take so it is not surprising. The ideal for them is probably to publish something from a “radical poc” (or another symbolic person) that has a bunch of platitudes but probably doesn’t seriously challenge anyone or cause any uncomfortable self reflection with maybe a nebulous call to action (I haven’t read what you wrote, but if it’s anything like everything else you write it won’t fit this model). later when they are challenged or want to feel good about how diverse their movement is, they say well we had piece x from person y so we must be doing something right.

    if you haven’t read columbus and other cannibals by jack forbes, i highly recommend it. it talks about the urge to cannibalize and the spiritual psychosis affecting many people alive today. i think the urge to intellectually cannibalize and consume radical people of color by white lefties fits the model of wetiko disease.

    white folks in the birth community (myself very much included) need to hear certain truths that we don’t want to hear. I know I’ve done things since becoming a birth worker that were exploitative. for example, early in my training I paid for and participated in a training program that I know now was exploitative. eventually, it was more important to acknowledge the truth even if it led to working through some uncomfortable shit about myself as a person. i think for many white folks like myself, getting rid of the cannibal disease is something we have to do every day if we want to be less destructive to the other people we live around. but if you don’t fight the disease, then you aren’t free to live a life with genuine love and relationships.

    good for you for cutting yourself off from people and relationships that were toxic for you. right now, I don’t do anything much related to gender/lgbtqqi stuff because it’s too personal, and therefore takes way too much energy and life out of me to do. I’m glad I have the option of not being public about certain things, or I’m not sure I would leave the house some days. similarly, one of the best ways to capitalize on privilege is for people with identities that aren’t attacked to use that to do work that other people can’t do because they need to self care.

  • Ash says:

    Yeah, and also want to point out that people seeing you as “the anti racist birth person/blogger!!” is so much more about them and their issues.

    Like you said, you really haven’t written all that much here about racism.

    But it’s folks putting labels on you and putting you in a neat cellophane pouch so you are fit for their consumption. Fuck that. Your art and everything you do is so much more.

  • S. says:

    Not about this post–just letting you know I’m seeing the pix of crowds in Cairo and wondering what your perspective/take is on it all–and hoping you’re okay.

  • Oh man. I’ve somehow ended up pigeonholed as “that political rabble-rousing blogging burlesquer in Brisbane” – though instead of being a resource (which I don’t mind most of the time) I’ve become someone to avoid. To not trust. To be blamed for “rifts in the community”. And then I get yelled at when I *don’t* want to be a resources (“go look it up yourself”) because then I’m somehow failing in my responsibilities. Sigh!

    • mama says:

      oooh…yeah i went through that period as well. right? you cause conflicts… yeah that is the other side where you get scapegoated for whatever issues are in the community. ugh. double ugh.

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